Health: Tiny muscles can play big roles.

The tibialis anterior in the shin is a small muscle which helps us maintain a healthy gait

TINY muscles can play big roles.

The tibialis anterior in the shin, for example, is a thin strip of muscle which runs from just under the knee on the outside edge of the shin bone (the tibia), connecting to the metatarsal bones of the foot.

It has an important role in supporting the ankle and foot, and maintaining a healthy gait — it lifts the toes up as we walk and helps maintain the foot arch and prevent the foot rolling inward.

Neglecting this muscle can lead to shin splints, calf strains and foot problems caused by pronation (where you walk with excess weight on the inside of your foot).

Regularly stretching the calf muscles and keeping the ankles mobile will ensure the tibialis anterior remains healthy.

Sit with your feet flat on the floor and raise and lower your toes repeatedly. Increase the challenge by pulling against a resistance band.

Physiotherapist Clare Lewey recommends sitting on a ledge, which allows your feet to dangle and pulling the arches of your feet towards each other to increase ankle mobility, using a resistance band to pull against if you’re able.

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